After the 2013 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship, the floor of the court where the Final Four played out was acquired by Northwestern Mutual.
Offered to the University of Louisville after it beat the University of Michigan Wolverines in Atlanta, Ga., the floor is now being used to raise money for pediatric cancer.
Northwestern Mutual, a corporate partner of the NCAA, acquired the floor following the tournament and has turned it into souvenir pieces for University of Louisville fans, with proceeds going to Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville, according to a press release.
A 1977 Logansport High School graduate has had a hand in turning the floor cutouts into souvenirs. Bruce Pugh had head coach Rick Pitino sign the pieces. The coach signed 1,000 pieces for souvenirs.
This isn’t the first time Pugh has had a hand in this type of project. After the University of Kentucky defeated Kansas in the national basketball championship in 2012, pieces were turned into souvenirs with John Calipari’s signature, which raised more than $200,000 for children with cancer.
“As this year’s championship progressed, I thought to myself, ‘We might be doing this project again,’” Pugh said. “After University of Louisville won, we got the call that Northwestern Mutual was offered the floor again.”
Pugh, who is a print production manager, has been working with Doe Anderson Advertising in Louisville, Ky., for 16 years. With Northwestern Mutual, being a client of Doe Anderson, Pugh was given the opportunity to take on the souvenir project.
Pugh said they looked at what other universities have done in the past and then found people or companies who could assist in the project.
“It has been fun, exciting,” Pugh said. “I was actually with both coaches during the signings. They know it’s for a good cause.”
Pugh mentioned it has been a lot of work, noting the last project was estimated to take 280 hours — or seven work weeks.